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Blotto

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Worth reading 😎

An autobiography of a man's battle with alcoholism. A hold-nothing-back account, unashamedly exposing his demons, then conquering them.

Synopsis

After a devastating, early life of hard drinking, I got sober 33 years ago. During those years, I attended thousands of Alcoholics Anonymous meetings, where I have seen countless sufferers dramatically change their lives, and return to the human race. I have witnessed too many miracles to count. AA offers a wide array of tools for recovery, but in my opinion, at the center of everything, is the act of storytelling. Stories are told by speakers, sponsors, and in personal sharing by everyone at meetings. The sense of identification, of not being the only one with the problem, and of the fact that there is a solution, has an extraordinarily healing affect on the storyteller and listener alike.

My sincere hope is that my book will provide comfort, hope, and direction to anyone (and their loved ones) dealing with alcoholism and addiction. Blotto is not an “inside baseball” book. Certainly, people dealing with alcoholism and addiction will relate, but I have endeavored to write in a manner that will have a universal appeal to anyone who enjoys a compelling read about personal redemption.

Blotto is a rags-to-riches story. Yes, the author found stable work through overcoming his alcoholism. More profoundly, though, he became rich in spirit – and this shines through in Jeff Pohn’s frank account of his addiction.

 

The book starts at his lowest point: a pathetic man so broken he can’t get out of his paralysing situation. From early childhood, it then details his trajectory into his insidious disease. It can be hard for someone without this experience to imagine how alcoholism can compromise a person’s life, but Pohn makes it relatable.

 

Written in first person present tense and with an easy reading style, this story is impassively told. The author doesn’t shy away from his heinous behaviour while drinking. He then details the set-backs in his difficult recovery as clearly as his advances: Alcoholics Anonymous assisted his “slow-briety” greatly.

 

In some respects, this is a standard memoir of a child growing up, then moving into the wider world with adulthood. Pohn details family relationships, most of which start off complicated, and all of which end up estranged. His daily routines are commonplace, familiar to many.

 

It’s this familiarity which allows the reader to delve more deeply into the author’s dire circumstances – because it’s even more understandable that alcoholism could have been anyone’s outcome, but for a chance of circumstance here or there. Anyone who has suffered knock-backs, whether big or small, will see their reflection somewhere in this tale.

 

The book contains some spelling and punctuation errors which detract from the reading experience. At times the style is so laid back as to lack emotion behind the words. More diverse vocabulary would increase reader interest. The scene which orientated the book reappears halfway: repeated word for word, the impact of this pivotal event is reduced. Revisiting this incident with different phrasing would have been beneficial, adding to the gravity of this turning point in the author’s life by exploring it in more depth.

 

The book’s appealing cover is simple yet effective: to read the subtitle, the reader must turn the book almost upside down, unconsciously mirroring the life described within. The story ends with the author’s sobriety and stable life – and mind – that accompanies it. The reader is left with the feeling that Pohn has beaten his demons, and continues to win with every day he decides not to drink. 

Reviewed by

My first book features my journey through depression and into wellness. I’m working on my second book, with enough material for five such books featuring poems and art. I’ve scoped two prose books and a picture book. My ability to transcend these ideas into reality depends on time-watch this space!

Synopsis

After a devastating, early life of hard drinking, I got sober 33 years ago. During those years, I attended thousands of Alcoholics Anonymous meetings, where I have seen countless sufferers dramatically change their lives, and return to the human race. I have witnessed too many miracles to count. AA offers a wide array of tools for recovery, but in my opinion, at the center of everything, is the act of storytelling. Stories are told by speakers, sponsors, and in personal sharing by everyone at meetings. The sense of identification, of not being the only one with the problem, and of the fact that there is a solution, has an extraordinarily healing affect on the storyteller and listener alike.

My sincere hope is that my book will provide comfort, hope, and direction to anyone (and their loved ones) dealing with alcoholism and addiction. Blotto is not an “inside baseball” book. Certainly, people dealing with alcoholism and addiction will relate, but I have endeavored to write in a manner that will have a universal appeal to anyone who enjoys a compelling read about personal redemption.

BOTTOMS UP

My days are devoted to the killing of cockroaches, who share my scuzzy, single apartment in Hollywood. I’m drinking around the clock, but to diminishing returns. I have to drink more and more to achieve the desired affect—Blotto. I buy my booze at different liquor stores, so that the guys behind the counter don’t recognize me as a drunk. My body wakes me up in the middle of night, demanding alcohol. I sleep with a cheap bottle of vodka under my bed, and I am gifted tiny vials of cocaine from a sweetheart of a dealer, who knows I can no longer afford to pay.

A growing paranoia darkens my shrinking world; I sleep with a carrot peeler on the bedside table. Suspecting my phone is bugged, I take it completely apart, forgetting that it was disconnected months ago. Other than liquor runs, I hardly ever leave the apartment, but when I do, I suspect I’m being followed. I don’t want anyone to witness what I’ve become. My

1

Blotto

only human contact is with the mailman, through the slot. For years, I drank exclusively hi-end booze, like the brands I was weened on, from my parents’ liquor cabinets. Now, I’ll guzzle anything at all, including, in desperate moments, Paco Rabanne cologne.

I’m not a bad guy—I’m well educated. I love my mother. I floss semi-regularly. So, how did I wind up like this, at thirty- years-old? Allow me take you back to where it all began, as I remember it... 

About the author

After a thirty year career as a film and TV director/screenwriter, Jeffrey Pohn enters the world of non-fiction writing with his new memoir, ‘BLOTTO: Adventures in Alcoholism / Ruin to Recovery’. Jeffrey lives in Ojai, California, with his wife, Poosy, and their dog, Baby. view profile

Published on October 07, 2019

Published by

40000 words

Contains explicit content ⚠️

Worked with a Reedsy professional 🏆

Genre: Biographies & Memoirs

Reviewed by

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